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Monday, April 15, 2024

Gambhir, Ganguly Bat For Freezing Ties with Pakistan, Face Lutyens Media Taunts

Two prominent cricketers, Gautam Gambhir and Saurav Ganguly, have called for a complete freeze on sporting ties with Pakistan till the time cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan does not end.

“I would not even think of playing cricket with Pakistan. Indian lives are more important than sports,” Gambhir, a current Test batsman, was reported to have said.

Gambhir insisted that every citizen of Bharat must put himself into the shoes of an army personnel before talking about keeping politics and sports separate. “I absolutely endorse that we should not have any relation or ties with Pakistan until the time this cross border terrorism finishes. People need to put themselves in army’s shoes who have lost their kids, someone have lost their father, son.”

“We can say this sitting in an AC room that cricket or bollywood should not be compared to politics as long as we don’t think ourselves as Indians, or think for our own countrymen. So I totally endorse that until the time we don’t secure our own Indians, our own countrymen, all other things can be kept aside,” the 35-year-old added.

Yesterday, former captain Sourav Ganguly agreed with what Gautam Gambhir had said a couple of days back that Bharat should cut off all sporting ties with Pakistan. “It’s completely acceptable that if you keep fighting and killing our soldiers at the border you cannot just keep playing bilateral series,” said Ganguly.

However, the moment Gambhir made his statement, the class of Lutyens journalists who have arrogated to themselves the ability to divine the nation’s true interests and who are deeply upset that their advocacy of ‘strategic restraint’ & status quo after Uri has been ignored by the Modi Government conducting cross-border surgical strikes, was quick to hit back with a taunting tweet –

Yes, the same Shekhar Gupta who had once claimed that the Army under then COAS General VK Singh was going to execute a coup in 2012, who had dismissed Narendra Modi as a ‘rabble rouser’ & ‘demagogue’ in countless columns written after 2002 but recently praised him as a ‘wise man’, and who had once (in)famously gushed over Zakir Naik as a ‘rock star of tele-evangelism’ – this same man is accusing Gambhir of hypocrisy and poor judgement!

When rebuked by people on twitter, Gupta replied with the trite comment asking Gambhir to ‘focus on cricket’ – implying that the ‘serious thinking on national interest’ should be left to people like him! Well, we hope he takes his own advice and focuses on basic journalism, leaving pontificating on political, religious, defense and economic issues to the experts – especially given his patchy track record of analyzing and forecasting in these critical areas.

It is mind-boggling that the likes of Shekhar Gupta strut around as champions of democracy and free speech, given their utter contempt for someone less erudite than them. If you can’t dot your i’s and cross your t’s, and can’t flaunt the same social connections in Lutyens Delhi as Shekhar Gupta, you are a nobody by his standards.

And just for the record, Shekhar Gupta is wrong in calling Gambhir a hypocrite & opportunist – after playing a major role in Bharat’s World Cup win in 2011, Gambhir had dedicated that victory to the victims of the 26/11 terror attack. So even 5 years back, Gambhir had displayed his patriotic feelings and empathy with terror victims.

For many citizens, 26/11 and now Uri were watershed moments – some of us realized after 26/11 itself that there could be no ties with Pakistan unless cross-border terror ceased completely, others have come to the same conclusion now. It is a sign of an open mind if one is willing to change one’s thinking and attitudes with time as new evidence comes to light. It is the likes of Gupta who should be ashamed of peddling a failed status-quoist policy with Pakistan – but then again, shame is not a word that exists in the dictionary of the Lutyens crowd.

Even if Gambhir was a votary of sporting ties with Pakistan when he was at the peak of his cricketing career, and is now advocating freezing all ties till cross-border terror ends, this is just plain common sense – shouldn’t we all evolve our thinking over time? And Gambhir is not asking individual cricketers to pull out of matches with Pakistan, he is appealing to BCCI and the Government of Bharat to freeze sporting ties with Pakistan – which anyway have been in limbo as far as full-scale bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan are concerned since 26/11/08! What is selfish, or hypocritical in this? A crude analogy would be someone who is a chain smoker during his younger years, but later realizes that smoking causes cancer and appeals to authorities to ban cigarettes – would we call such a smoker a hypocrite, someone who enjoyed smoking during his heyday and now wants to deny the same ‘pleasure’ to others?

This tweet sums up the situation with regards to the Lutyens journalists –

And while a Shekhar Gupta mocks citizens who dare express an opinion on Bharat-Pak relations contrary to his own, a Sagarika Ghose travels out of the country to eulogize terrorist Burhan Wani and demonize our Army and Government in the process –

With leading journalists like the ones we have in Bharat, who needs enemies?

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